Report on Mayon (Philippines) — 15 August-21 August 2001
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 15 August-21 August 2001
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2001. Report on Mayon (Philippines). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 15 August-21 August 2001. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
13.257°N, 123.685°E; summit elev. 2462 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
Volcanic activity remained relatively low at Mayon during the week. Few rockfalls were observed, seismicity was relatively low, incandescence was not visible in the crater, and no inflation was detected at the volcano's summit. SO2 emission rates reflected continuous degassing of residual magma. Because volcanic and seismic activity had been declining for the previous 2 weeks, on 21 August PHIVOLCS decreased the Alert Level at the volcano from 4 (hazardous eruption imminent) to 3 (increased tendency towards eruption). As a consequence, the Extended Danger Zone (EDZ) in the SE returned to the original 6-kilometer radius Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ).
Geologic Background. Beautifully symmetrical Mayon, which rises above the Albay Gulf NW of Legazpi City, is the Philippines' most active volcano. The structurally simple edifice has steep upper slopes averaging 35-40 degrees that are capped by a small summit crater. Historical eruptions date back to 1616 and range from Strombolian to basaltic Plinian, with cyclical activity beginning with basaltic eruptions, followed by longer term andesitic lava flows. Eruptions occur predominately from the central conduit and have also produced lava flows that travel far down the flanks. Pyroclastic flows and mudflows have commonly swept down many of the approximately 40 ravines that radiate from the summit and have often devastated populated lowland areas. A violent eruption in 1814 killed more than 1,200 people and devastated several towns.